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Perspectives

Our thoughts on new trends, ideas, technologies as well as updates on ongoing projects, press, exhibitions and events.

Perspectives

Our thoughts on new trends, ideas, technologies plus updates on projects, press, events & exhibitions.

Cancer Cells Can't Multitask

A recently-published study led by David Q. Matus, PhD has revealed that cancer cells are unable to divide and conquer at the same time. 

David Q. Matus, PhD. Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Stony Brook University, image from Stony Brook University

David Q. Matus, PhD. Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Stony Brook University, image from Stony Brook University

The implications of this discovery are tremendous, considering previous difficulties in determining how these are able to multiply and invade new cells. By observing how cancer cells carry out these activities at different developmental stages, researchers can now be more intentional about targeting at-risk cells for more effective treatment.

Cancer cell dividing, image from Science Museum

Cancer cell dividing, image from Science Museum

Nematode and human physiology have sufficient similarities for biological comparison, which is why the worm-like creatures were the subject of this study. It’s particularly interesting that in switching off a specific gene, the team were able to prevent an anchor cell from invading another cell. Click here to read the article on this new breakthrough by Alexandra Ossola on Popular Science.

Nematode, image from scienceblogs.com

Nematode, image from scienceblogs.com

How will this discovery impact the development of cancer treatment? As new types of treatment become available, how will they be prescribed or carried out? Where does this sit in relation to the inclination towards genetic treatment and personalised medicine (see Quanticare below)? What happens if we switch off the ‘cancer gene’ - will there be side effects or unintended consequences?